London Mayor Out to Ban London Tube Gambling Advertisements

London Mayor Out to Ban London Tube Gambling Advertisements

You can always tell when an election is on the horizon. The candidates do their best to come up with some new policies to grab the attentions of the voters. That’s just what London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Labour) has done. He’s pledged to ensure that there will no longer be any gambling advertisements on the Tube.

Khan is no stranger to banning London Tube advertisements. Three years ago, he ditched junk food adverts, though the queues at McDonalds and KFC don’t seem to be any shorter. Of course, such actions don’t help finances with Transport for London (TfL) saying that this ban costs them £13 million in revenue a year. TfL had anticipated that their advertising estate would bring in £156 million in revenue for the year 2020/21.

TfL Financial Losses

More financial losses look to be made in the future with this new policy. Just what they need at a time when the ongoing pandemic has seen passenger revenue figures dramatically reduced.
Khan’s election manifesto has set its sights on gambling. It states that “harmful gambling advertisements” will be banned if he is re-elected in May. “Given the devastating way gambling addiction can destroy lives and families, I’ll instruct TfL to bring forward plans to extend the ban to harmful gambling advertisements on the network,” the manifesto says.

He has been accused of hypocrisy over his policy towards gambling advertisements on the London Tube. While he got rid of the ones for junk food, the number of gambling advertisements doubled.

Former leader of the Conservatives Iain Duncan Smith (always good for a moan but often right), said: “The idea he should have those (ads) all over TfL, encouraging young people to take up gambling, is awful, and he needs to end it now. This is hypocrisy.”  Why did he not take action previously, rather than look for a headline grabbing election policy?

If this policy is implemented in London, it won’t be the first city in England to take action against gambling advertisements. Bristol has already restricted such advertisements at bus stops and on digital screens as well as parks.

Responsible Gambling Advertisements

Could there not just be a campaign to have more responsible gambling advertisements in place? Gambling is perfectly ok if those doing it act responsibly. More effort to show how this can be achieved is important or does the Mayor want to see more financial problems for TfL?

The London Mayoral election takes place on May 6 and Khan is the heavily odds on favourite to win. You won’t get too rich backing him at odds of 1/25 at BetVictor. Not that he will be pleased to see a gambling advertisement on the London Tube telling you that.

The latest YouGov poll has him 21% clear of Tory candidate Shaun Bailey. William Hill have Bailey at 25/1 to win the May 6 election. Other candidates include Sian Berry (Green Party), actor Laurence Fox (Reclaim Party) and Independent candidate Brian Rose.